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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Crochet lesson

For a while now I have wanted to learn to crochet. I did crochet a blanket of granny squares about 30 years ago - someone showed me how to make a square and join them together. I just kept repeating until I had enough. I have also improvised edgings a couple of times - but without knowing what I was doing, or being able to read a pattern.

My friend Susan (well, one of them, I  have a number of Susan friends!) also wanted to learn so I approached another friend who is an expert crocheter. Jennifer readily agreed to teach us and we organised a time - on my birthday as it turned out - and took the plunge.

I chose a pattern that I thought would take me through a range of techniques and stitches, but be manageable. It is Cosmos Cushion by Elaine Walker which I found through Patternfish.

We spent a most enjoyable afternoon learning the basic stitches on a little sampler. I could manipulate the crochet hook without trouble, but it is taking me a bit of practice to get the rhythm of double crochet as opposed to single crochet - not to mention programming myself to think either American or English terminology.

I originally intended to use up odd bits of left-over wool, but quickly decided that would not work with what I had to hand. A trip to Spotlight, therefore, has set me up with what the pattern suggests - 4 ply cotton in very attractive colours and I embarked on the back of the cushion.

At the next lesson, after a bit of homework, I discovered I had strayed from double crochet and invented my own stitch - so a bit of unpicking was in order.

Once I got into a bit of a rhythm and progressed on the fairly straightforward back, I moved to try some of the motifs for the front.

Left are my first attempts - Jennifer got me started by doing the green base square for me.

I managed to do a few more before the demands of the Embroiderers' Guild Summer School kicked in.

There are a few errors in these - but I'm making progress - and having a lot of fun!


Monica said...

I love the pattern you have chosen! It's going to be a fun cushion cover.

I think trying to figure out the English vs. American terminology is the biggest challenge to new crocheters. I just recently learned that the English terms were different, and I found that reading a British pattern was very challenging.

I find that crochet is very amenable to improvisation, so I have a feeling you will like it!

Katherine said...

That is one gorgeous cushion! I get confused about the American and English terms so I just follow what is in front of me and haven't committed too much to memory lol. Some of my squares have been a little wonky down the sides as I forget to go just one further along and where I have the chain up for the next row.

Katherine said...

Now where did my comment disappear to. Was going to add that your little squares are gorgeous and I love all the colours and cotton gives such a lovely stitch definition as my squares are the first time I have used cotton and not wool or cheap acrylic.

Jillian said...

Thanks Katherine. I figure if it has a single crochet in the pattern, it's American! There is a fair bit of wonky in my squares - but it is fairly forgiving - and easy to undo. One of the reasons I picked it is that it's made up of small bits so I wont get too far ahead before finding I need to undo!